Peasant Feminism

“A really important part of being women in La Vía Campesina is to identify ourselves and our various struggles” emphasized speakers at the start of the V Women’s Assembly taking place in Basque Country on 17 and 18 July 2017. The peasant women highlighted various aspects of this identity, including women’s care for the land, the seeds and the ecosystem and their fights against patriarchy, the sexist system, and violence. They took advantage of their unique gathering to advance their collective understanding of how to fight for food sovereignty with feminism.”

Food sovereignty is a feminist issue. Food production, harmonious social relations and balance with nature is the fabric of life that is entwined with and embodied in women. The onset of patriarchy, a structural system of domination more pronounced in capitalist relations, has disrupted balance in social relations. Now, women are exploited for profit. Their economic, social, legal and political rights are not fully recognized, and public policies fail to guarantee their equal social and economic participation. Yet, they are the majority of food producers and continue to do unpaid food-related care work (processing, preparing, storing, seed saving, etc.). Their rights — access to land, support services and legal recognition — receive minimal policy attention and are overlooked by many researchers and experts.

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